Bored with the gym, try something new

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Are you bored with going to the gym? Tired of endless miles on a treadmill where you just don’t seem to get anywhere.?

 

Why not try something new. It is a workout with the same intensity as doing burpees over and over again combined with the cardio output of a marathoner’s speed workout.

 

There’s more snow in New England, grab a snow shovel. Can you dig it?

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Bits and pieces

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Winter has finally given way to spring and summer is nearly here. I’ve been out of the water for months. I would love to blame the cold winter from my surf hiatus, but instead an injury kept me on land and out of the water.

 

After weeks of rest, recovery, and physical therapy I finally feel strong enough to get back in the water. To say I am rusty would be an understatement; I actually feel I am demonstrating all of the things not to do while surfing. So I’ve been trying to manage my time in the water by avoiding crowds, this way I am a danger to far less people.

 

To compound my reintroduction to surf, because of the nature of my leg injury I’ve decided a change was needed to protect my leg from getting reinjured. Since I began surfing I’ve always had a regular stance, which means my right leg is in the back and the leash goes on that leg. My right leg is my bum leg. So I’ve been learning to surf goofy, putting my left leg back and right leg forward.

 

In many ways it feels like learning from scratch. Right now my brain is wired to pop up the same way I’ve always done it. Telling my head to do it a new way is no easy feat. But it is coming along, although it is in bits and pieces.

 

I have moments where it makes sense followed by moments of what do I do next. I get the pop up but I can’t manage the turn. I make the turn but immediately fall. I catch the wave and look down at my feet. And everything is moving so fast; my brain can’t process it quickly enough.

 

Hopefully soon I will be able to string together each glimpse of surfing and it will start to feel more like the real thing. In the mean time, I’m just happy to be back out in the water because I’ve been Vitamin Sea deficient.

 

Roll with it baby

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In 1992 I was at Queens College, we were practicing volleyball. I went up for a hit or a block, I can’t remember that part. What I do remember is rolling my ankle and hobbling off the court. After, I lay down on the floor and propped my feet against the wall and thought it wasn’t so bad. After practice I walked across campus went to my dorm room and started to get ready for my weekend. Somewhere in the hours after rolling my ankle it got really bad. The end result a trip to the ER, X-Rays, no broken bones, but a pretty bad sprain.

 

(Looking back know I can’t believe I walked home on an injury but in the mind of an 18 year old……well we don’t always make good choices when we are 18.)

 

Fast forward to 2014.

 

My knee is stronger. I still have pain but nothing to stop me from working out. I’ve been doing yoga, strength training, cardio, and some light running.

The weather in New England has been rather temperamental this winter, so finding nice days to run has been challenging. Earlier this week we had a nice winter day, the temperature was in the 30s, there was almost no wind, and most of the snow had melted. What a great day for a run.

 

About two miles into the run, disaster. Out of nowhere I rolled my ankle. No ice, no snow, no rocks. I was on steady ground. Somehow I took a step and the next thing I knew I was on the ground.

 

Usually I run with my phone, but for some reason this time I left it in the office. I couldn’t call for help but I knew lying in the parking lot was probably not a very good idea, so I hobbled to the middle of the street to flag down a car. Thankfully someone pulled up and drove me back to work, where my co-workers quickly got me to the ER.

 

This sprain feels much worse then the one I got 20 years ago. It might be that I am older and can’t recover as quickly. It might be because I am smarter about the healing process.

 

Looking back on how 20 years ago I was walking and playing ball a few weeks after my injury really strains the spirit. But healing takes time. So I am trying to stay positive, at least moving around on crutches is a great workout.

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When is it time?

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Good news I am back to running. Yoga is pain free. Walking stairs and hiking on rocks doesn’t really hurt me like it did a few weeks ago.

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Bad news, I still haven’t gotten back in the water and I don’t know why I am so apprehensive about surfing.

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It’s winter in Rhode Island and winter surfing is tough. The wetsuit is so thick that you can barely lift your arms to paddle out. Just donning the suit is a workout in itself. Once you manage to get geared up and in the water, during the paddle out your arms feel heavy. Heavy from the workout and heavy from the extra material you have to wear just to stay warm. After you are safely past where the waves break and you’ve rested, it is easy to settle into the surfing.

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But wait, the challenge is far from over. The extra gear can make a wipe out more daunting than during a nice summer day. And after the surf session you have the next major challenge of getting out of your gear. The workout resumes as you wrestle off gloves and booties. Even if you drive home wearing your wetsuit, you still have to free the proper appendages so you can drive.

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Aside from the logistics of winter surfing I think my biggest apprehension is re-hurting my knee. I surf regular, which means my right foot is my back foot. You steer your board with your back foot, which puts strain on your knee. Unfortunately I hurt my right knee.  How I surf I makes me more likely to exacerbate my injury.

 

I’ve been considering changing my stance to goofy so my right foot will be the front foot. However, changing your stance is akin to starting from scratch. Winter is not the best season to start over again.

 

Part of me thinks my logic for staying on dry land is reasonable and logical. But part of me wonders if I am just rationalizing reasons to not go because I am afraid. (And I admit I am mostly afraid of the really cold weather.)

 

Maya Gabeira is a big wave surfer who had a major wipe out in Portugal, which almost killed her. The other day I saw a video clip of her surfing again. Seeing that clip made me wonder what on earth is wrong with me and why I haven’t gone back out. Surfing almost killed her and she is back in the water, what is my excuse a bum knee? Yes it was great inspiration to get back out there, but she was wearing a swimsuit and surfing in warm water.

 

You know what, there is no shame in taking some time away from the water. Spring will be here before we know it. The conditions should be much more conducive to surfing. Now if I am making the same excuses when it’s warmer…….well we will know I am just rationalizing.

 

How do you know when it is time to start up again after an injury?